Militant’s modus operandi

  First publish in Progress magazine

Keep ‘cybernat’ politics at bay

At 242 pages, Michael Crick’s book on Labour in the 1980s and how the far left dominated its politics, The March of Militant, is one of the shortest on this period of the party’s history. But I would argue it is one of the most important. Crick chronicles how this small sect left Labour further from power and its voters prey to the worst instincts of Margaret Thatcher. ‘Militant is more than a well organised and far-left Labour party pressure group’, he argues. ‘Its philosophy descends directly from Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, and virtually nobody else.’

It is now top of my rereading pile as the party repeats history and its terrible consequences for working-class Britain. Why? Because not only does Crick retell the stories of Militant Tendency at its best/worst (delete as appropriate), he has a unique understanding of its modus operandi. (more…)